Great expectations – by Jen Greve

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My guest blogger is the amazing Jen Greve. A woman I admire for her honesty, authenticity and her power to be who she is. A fighter and a survivor.

Read her article about being a woman; Great expectations.

Great expectations

IN my life I´ve always struggled with expectations and living up to them. For many years, it was what I thought I must do. In all aspects of my life really. From education to relationships, “take this degree, you will be happy”, “find this man, you will be happy”, “have these children, you will be happy”.

As a woman, in my mid-thirties, certain things are expected off me. I´m expected to have a certain amount of dignity, of poise even restraint.

I´m also expected to be able to nod approvingly at certain labels society wish to place upon me. Motherhood for one, marriage another. Perhaps even a shipwrecked one at that. I´ve certainly witnessed my fair share of relationships that have both blossomed and flourished only to turn sour and end in breakups and divorces.

So, when a woman such as myself, has made choices in my life, that go against these norms, I find I have to defend myself. My life and the choices I´ve made. Because    I´ve chosen not to have children and I´ve never gotten married nor do I have any desire to do so.

It must, surely, be because I have a career then. Because, I mean, who wouldn´t want to reproduce and have the big fairytale day to show off the love me and my significant other share?

And yes, I do have a career, have a wonderful job with great colleagues that enrich my day in so many ways and make me want to go in every single day to do what is meaningful to me. But it´s a 9 to 5 job, or in my case 7 to 3 as I do love those quiet mornings, and that´s it. Then I go home and do what means something to me.

Because, in essence, that is what it´s all about. I live for me! I do what I want to do, not what society expects of me, nor what friends and family would want me to so that they can have what they need. That must be it mustn´t it, their need for me to bear children. So that their kids can play with someone, or they can be someone to them.

I think, as a species, we tend to project our own desires on to other people, instead of focusing on ourselves. Even more so as women. We yearn to tend to others, it´s in our nature. To care for other, to please and accommodate. In such an extent that we also forget about ourselves when it comes to our job and we get left behind because we think too little about, and off, ourselves. But that´s a whole other story.

We should never have to defend our choices and I will never, again, do what others expect of me to please them. I will, however, do what I expect of me, which is think of me and my needs before those of others.

Only then can we become the great sister, wife, lover and mother we yearn to be.

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